Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Brandis uses privilege to suggest Gillard broke law


The Coalition has stepped up its attack on the Prime Minister, with Liberal senator George Brandis using parliamentary privilege to suggest Julia Gillard broke criminal laws while working as a lawyer in the early 1990s.
Ms Gillard has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to her role in providing legal advice to establish the Australian Workers Union (AWU) Workplace Reform Association while working at Slater & Gordon.
She has said she believed the association's funds would be used for legitimate purposes.
They were instead used by her then-boyfriend and former AWU official Bruce Wilson as a union slush fund, although he denies financially benefiting from it.
Speaking in the Senate, the shadow attorney-general said it was clear Ms Gillard knew the association's funds would not be used for their stated purpose, which was for the advancement of workers' rights.
Instead, Senator Brandis said she knew the funds would be used for the "private purposes" of Mr Wilson and fellow union official Ralph Blewitt.
"There is no doubt - no doubt whatsoever - that at the time she was involved in setting up the slush fund, Ms Gillard knew what its purpose was," he told the Senate.
"Indeed, the choice of an incorporated association as the entity to hold the funds for union election purposes was Ms Gillard's brainchild.
"It is already clear, that from (the association's) inception, Ms Julia Gillard's involvement in this matter has been characterised by concealment, deception, professional misconduct, and it would appear several breaches of the criminal law."


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